All posts by Chelsea Girl

Tombo in South Kensington

Earlier today, I met up with a fellow blogger for lunch in South Kensington.

Tombo South KensingtonI’d seen her tweet about Tombo and more specifically the chicken katsu they serve and I knew I had to try it out.

Chicken Katsu CurryThe result? I wasn’t disappointed at all. The ingredients were fresh and the chicken was cooked well, quite succulent and not over-cooked (which can be an issue with some Japanese fast-food). The staff were also friendly and the interior was light and felt spacious, even though the dining area isn’t so big. I also spotted quite a few Japanese customers popping in, which for me is always a big plus.

All in all, I am glad I have finally tried this place after passing by so many times. And I am definitely returning.

Tombo, 29 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2HQ

Iconoclasts of Taste by Grey Goose

I am currently catching up on my blog posts and I have been dying to write this one up. Why? Because Grey Goose’s latest project ‘Iconoclasts of Taste’ completely blew me away when I went to the press preview a few weeks ago. It is truly pioneering.

Grey Goose and Iconoclasts of Taste

So what exactly is Iconoclasts of Taste? 

Well, according to an online dictionary, an iconoclast is:

person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error superstition.” Or,  “a breaker or destroyer of images, especially those set up for religious veneration.” (Source)

And according to Grey Goose, ‘the world needs Iconoclasts'; people who ‘break the mould’ and ‘challenge the status quo’. As a result, established groundbreakers such as designer Giles Deacon, mixologist Tony Conigliaro, chef Nuno Mendes and curator Carrie Scott were faced with the task of identifying three emerging iconoclasts who I consider to be very exciting.

They include:

Tasha Marks who is an artist and food historian. Her work involves edible art and her Grey Goose events include an Edible Art Masterclass at The Hospital Club on 27th July and a talk and a workshop on Food As Artistic Medium on 16-17 September, as part of the London Design Festival at the V&A. Also, throughout September, Gilbert Scott will be offering a cocktail inspired by Tasha Marks on their drinks menu.

At the press preview, we enjoyed desserts made from ingredients that were reflective of the historical periods which influenced these treats and they were really fun to taste.

Iconoclasts of TasteDr. Rachel Edwards-Stuart’s Phd “Science of Cooking” project was sponsored by Heston Blumenthal and today, she is a leading flavour expert. Her work has involved advising 3* Michelin restaurant Le Doyen and working with food artists Bompas and Parr.

Rachel’s main event is the Flavour Science Masterclass at Bread Street Kitchen on 10th July and 1st August, whilst you can follow her Food & Cocktail Pairing Research throughout October as well as order Grey Goose cocktail and food pairings inspired by Dr. Rachel Edwards-Stuart at selected Gordon Ramsay restaurants.

Iconoclasts of Taste - Grey GooseFinally, Ento is a project by four students at the Royal College of Art and their focus is to develop creative solutions to the problem of food sustainability. And what is their answer? Insects, which Ento consider to be a nutritious and efficient alternative to traditional livestock. On the evening of discovering Ento’s awe-inspiring ambitions, I did shudder at the thought of eating insects and needless to say, I didn’t rush over to their table. But since then, there has been plenty in the news about the goodness of eating insects and now the thought of creepy crawlies entering our food chain doesn’t seem to be that inconceivable. Here’s one article on the subject.

If you are intrigued to try out Ento’s dishes, their events include: Ento Cocktails & Insect Canapés at The Lucky Pig on 26th June and an Ento Pop Up Restaurant from 15th until 18th August with Grey Goose Cocktails included in the tasting menu. And throughout September, Ento inspired Grey Goose cocktails will be available to try at the Covent Garden Cocktail Club.

Iconoclasts of TasteUnfortunately I’m not going to be able to try any of the pairings until after August but I am curious enough to consider the September and October events. If you do go to any of these events, I’d love to know what you discovered – especially if you tried the insects.

For more information on Iconoclasts of Taste’s events, click here.

Branche d’Olive Fragrances For Your Home

I don’t know about you but I find that living and working in London can sometimes require the need for a sanctuary, especially if time is an issue and heading out of town isn’t an immediate option. There are some places I like to go, such as to the gym for a long swim or for a walk around my favourite museum, the V&A. But most times, there’s nothing like a long soak in the bath with my favourite aroma burning and some self-pampering products to hand.

Branche dolive lit candle

That is why I was so pleased to have been introduced to the Branche d’Olive range. When I opened the soap tray, which was sent to me to review, I inhaled the various scents of luxury in a box. And I immediately understood why I could find Branche d’Olive at Fortnum & Mason and Liberty, as well as throughout Raymond Blanc’s Michelin- starred hotel: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison.

Branche d'Olive soap trayThe trademark fragrance, Garrigue is a refreshing combination of citrus, bergamot and lavender that remains the brand’s bestseller whilst I also like the idea of the lavender diffuser which would be perfect for the bedroom, to help me fall asleep at night.

Branche d'Olive room diffuser.

But there are other aromas to choose from, depending on your taste and need. And there are other products, such as lotions and other types of soap in the Branche d’Olive fragrance range.

Branche d'Olive hand wash

So if you are looking to treat your bathroom or bedroom to delicious scents and pampering products, sourced straight from local Provencale producers, I suggest you give Branche d’Olive a try. They would make for great gifts too.

For more information on Branche d’Olive’s gorgeous products, see their website here.

Elderflower Goodness With Bottlegreen

The first time I encountered Bottlegreen’s elderflower cordial was when I tried Grey Goose’s Le Fizz at the Grey Goose Taste By Appointment event last year. You might also remember me writing about Bottlegreen’s limited edition Breast Cancer Awareness Month Pomegranate and Elderflower cordial last year too. Well, last week I revisited Bottlegreen’s delectable offerings on the wonderful roof terrace of Belgraves Hotel. (If you haven’t checked out this hotel’s bar and terrace, I thoroughly recommend you do. It’s a veritable gem in the heart of Belgravia.)

At this event, I learned that Bottlegreen had a lot more to offer the palate than the wonderfully refreshing drink Le Fizz, which it has become well-known for in bars and clubs.

Le Fizz with Bottlegreen Elderflower

Bottlegreen’s elderflower sparkling drink is also a great accompaniment for gin. Or so my friend tells me …

Gin and Tonic with Bottlegreen

I, on the other hand, have about three or four more months of mocktails and so sipped (and thoroughly enjoyed) the pomegranate with Bottlegreen’s elderflower sparkling.

Elderflower and Pomegranate - Bottlegreen

Life can get a bit boring when you can’t drink alcohol, even when everyone is telling you that you are glowing: a lack of cocktails and vino would do that to you. ;) But at Bottlegreen’s event I really enjoyed knocking back these mocktails!

But drinks weren’t the only delights on the menu. Bottlegreen and Chef Sophie Michell also surprised us with an array of elderflower-inspired dishes.

They included various canapés, of which my favourite was the crab. All had an element of elderflower in their recipes, which complimented the fresh ingredients perfectly. Admittedly though I didn’t try the smoked salmon canapés but my friend said that it was her favourite dish of the night.

Bottlegreen

Bottlegreen

There was also the lamb with elderflower jelly, which was divine. The succulent lamb married up with the very delicate flavouring of the elderflower jelly was a perfect match.

Bottlegreen

And finally, there were desserts of which I had the jelly (twice!). Again, the flavours were surprisingly delicate and enjoyable.

Bottlegreen

Who would have thought that elderflower cordial could be included in such a variety of dishes?

Bottlegreen’s website has a range of recipes you can experiment with at home. So if you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, here they are: Cocktails, Main Dishes, and Desserts. Enjoy!

Don’t Miss in May 2013!

Who else can’t believe it’s May already? Where has the time flown? Well, it goes without saying that this is one of my favourite months of the year. With two bank holiday weekends, how can it not be? So here are my suggestions of what to do locally this month …

1. Why not kick off May with a Cinco De Mayo party at Barts this weekend?

CINCODEMAYO

2. And later this month, there’s of course Chelsea’s event of the year, The Chelsea Flower Show which will be running from 21st until 25th May. Here are some photos from two years ago and last year. Also, don’t forget that there is also Chelsea in Bloom (more photos) and Chelsea Fringe also happening this month.

3. And whilst The Chelsea Flower show is on, from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th May (12pm – 8pm every day), The Botanist will be running an Oyster and Joseph Perrier Champagne Bar in Sloane Square, complete with daily performances from a string quartet. You can enjoy champagne by the glass, by the bottle, or as a cocktail.

4. The Great Gatsby will open at Curzon Chelsea on 16th May but you can buy tickets from 3rd May. I cannot wait for this film to be released and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it represents Baz Lurhmann’s return to form. Check out my post with a video interview of the director himself.

5. If you’re an aspiring designer, fashionista or budding entrepreneur, Jean Queen Donna Ida Thornton is set to hold a Careers Day on 3rd May. Donna will be available all day from 10am – 4pm to answer questions at Donna Ida Head Office near Notting Hill. Donna will be joined by a host of Donna Ida girls who will also be happy to answer any questions (including Online Content Editor Amelia Kanaris and Graphic Designer Kate Gorbunova). To join Donna and the Donna Ida girls you can visit their Head Office on Friday 3rd May from 10am – 4pm at Phoenix Brewery, 13 Bramley Road, London W10 6SP. Nearest tube is Latimer Road.

Finally, just to warn you, my posts this month will be a little thin on the ground. This month is going to be craaazzzzy. Well, maybe not that mad but enough to occupy a large chunk of my blogging time. But whilst posts trickle through in May, they will return to normal by mid-June. So keep your eyes peeled for updates on new posts on my Twitter feed or Facebook page. Enjoy May and have two awesome Bank Holidays!